Bennett Seeking to Shut Down Illegal Arab Businesses Near Ariel

Family and friends attend the funeral of Rabbi Achiad Ettinger, Hy”d, who was killed in a terror attack near Ariel, at the Segula cemetery in Petach Tikvah, March 18, 2019. (Hillel Maeir/Flash90)

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett has instructed his staff to examine the possibility of shutting down Arab businesses at the Ariel Junction. The request comes in the wake of a terror attack last March, in which two Israelis were murdered.

Harav Ahiad Ettinger and IDF Officer Gal Keidan, Hy”d, were killed in the March 2019 attack at the Ariel Junction by terrorist Amar Abu-Leila. Footage of the attack, from a security camera posted at the bus stop where Abu-Leili stabbed Keidan and grabbed his gun, shows the progression of the attack.

After grabbing the weapon, the terrorist shot Keidan at close range. Soldiers from across the road shot at the terrorist, and the IDF believes that he may have been injured in the gunfire. Despite that, he was able to continue his rampage, shooting and mortally wounding Harav Ettinger – who drew his gun, but was unable to get off a shot before the terrorist shot him – and then stole a vehicle, which he used to drive to the Gitai Avisar Junction, where he shot and badly injured another soldier.

Makor Rishon reported that Bennett met in recent days with Tamar Ettinger, Harav Ettinger’s widow, at her home in Eli. The report quoted Bennett as saying that “I am taking actions to prevent the next attack, and to make life harder for terrorists, and to make sure they do not profit from their activities. I am doing this in several ways, and I do not intend to back off.”

Ettinger asked Bennett to act against the illegal Arab businesses that operate near the Ariel Junction. According to Ettinger, the activities at the businesses divert the attention of soldiers, whose job is to ensure the security of people waiting for buses and rides. Bennett responded to the request, and a plan to proceed with the closures is expected to be presented to Bennett soon, the report said.